Angels of Addiction, an art exhibit which features the portraits of lives lost to opioids, will be hosted by SOS Recovery Community Organization and First Church Congregational on Wednesday, November 7th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at SOS Recovery Community Center, 63 South Main St. in Rochester.
The exhibit, which was recently displayed on the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, is a moving and touching exhibit of portraits of sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and other loved ones who have lost their lives from overdose. The exhibit is open to the public. Donations will be accepted and will go to Angels of Addiction to raise awareness and support and honors those lost to overdose here in NH and across the county,
Angels of Addiction was conceived by Plaistow artist Anne Marie Zanfagna about a year after the death of her youngest daughter, Jacqueline, who died at age 25 of an accidental heroin overdose on October 18, 2014. At the time of Jacqueline’s death, her parents, Anne and Jim Zanfagna made the decision to be open about their daughter’s death in hope of raising awareness of heroin addiction.
Following her daughter’s death, Anne, who works with oils, found she couldn’t pick up a paintbrush. But when she did finally begin to paint again she painted a vibrant and joyful portrait of her daughter, Jacqueline, which she worked on over a period of months. According to Anne, the time she spent working on the painting was time she felt she spent with her daughter.
Once the portrait was complete, Anne brought the painting of her daughter to the heroin addiction support group that she and her husband regularly attend. Everyone at the meeting loved her painting and Anne offered to paint a portrait for another family who had also lost a child to a heroin overdose.
Realizing this was her calling, Anne and her husband set up the nonprofit Angels of Addiction, which relies on donations to provide supplies for the portraits Anne paints at for no charge. To date, she has painted more than 150 portraits.
Thirty to forty of Anne’s portraits will be on display at SOS on November 7th. Anne and her husband, Jim, will also speak briefly.
SOS RCO is a program of Greater Seacoast Community Health. The mission of SOS RCO is to reduce stigma and harm associated with substance misuse by providing safe space and peer based supports for people in all stages of recovery. For more information, go to SOSRCO.org or call (603) 841-2350.